When I reconnected last September with Lisa Simmons of Hippie Tendencies for the first time in 25 years, something magical and unexpected happened. Not only did we become great friends, but a special musical partnership began as well.
Since October, Lisa, my co-writer, fantastic guitar player and great friend Bob Story and I have been holding weekly International Skype Songwriting sessions. Every Friday at 8:30 a.m. our time, which is 4:30 p.m. in Italy, we hold video Skype songwriting sessions. They have been both fun and very fruitful. We have two songs completed and several more in the works. Two of those songs will be performed this weekend by Bob and I at the Hotel Boulderado.
The Skype sessions have not been without their difficulties such as frozen screen images and a mysterious wind noise that inevitably wooshes through during each session. We have lovingly named it the “winds of change” as we are certainly changing the way that we have ever written songs in the past.
The sessions are creative and structured so that we truly accomplish writing tasks each week. We often work on ideas individually during the week between, then present them to the group on Fridays.
I’m very proud of the work that has been created so far and look forward to many more fruits of our labor to come. By the time we hit Italy in July, we should have almost a full set’s worth of new material to perform together.
To keep in touch with the rest of the Hippie Tendencies bands, Lisa Simmons often invites us to Skype into a rehearsal or get together to say hello. I did so just last week and it really felt like I was in the room with them all. Though we can’t actually exchange any hugs, it’s the next best thing to being there! We also did a fun joint breakfast/dinner get together in November with all of our family members.
Who knows, maybe we have started a trend! I have also worked with Colorado songwriter Andy Ard via Skype to put finishing touches on a song we are working on as well. It sure beats wasting time driving for an hour each way. While nothing replaces being in the same room to write a song, this grand experiment is certainly yielding some fun material.